Monthly Archives: March 2011

Published March 25, 2011 on, American University’s student-run online radio station, with title of “assistant web director.” Original post here.

Like to dance but can’t stand to listen to another second of Ke$ha? The Black Cat has solved your problem.

The U Street club holds dance nights with themes including, but certainly not limited to: ‘80s, ‘90s, britpop, vintage hip hop, funky house, indie, electro and even bhangra. With DJ-ed events most weekends, chances are you’ll be able to find at least one night that suits your fancy.

Last weekend, the Black Cat hosted FYM Productions’s “‘80s Mayhem Dance Party” which played, you guessed it, exclusively ‘80s tunes. The crowd ranged from young people dressed up in neon colors, ripped tights and funky sweaters to older folks who grew up listening to Duran Duran, Tears for Fears and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Also present were the club’s event-regulars, like Leather Jacket Guy, who just really likes to rock out to ‘80s jams, and the most dedicated dancer you well ever see, understatedly dressed in jeans, a tight black tee and slicked-back hair, topped off with a mean impression of Billy Idol’s sneer.

Personal highlights include: One-hit wonders like Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” and Dexy’s Midnight Runners’s “Come on Eileen,” finally being able to do my impression of Molly Ringwald’s library dancing in “The Breakfast Club” and skanking with Billy Idol’s younger brother.

This weekend, be sure to check out “Razzmatazz.” It will cater to all your Britpop, alternative, indie, garage and postpunk dancing needs. Like something more urban? Mid-April the Black Cat’s hosting “Close 2 the Edge” which will feature two DJs playing vintage hip hop and dance tracks. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to dance battle with the Cat’s many characters.

Here’s a starting point if you want to have an ‘80s dance party of your own:


Published March 4, 2011 on, American University’s student-run online radio station, with title of “assistant web director.” Original post here.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the perfect band to check out as the seasons change from dreary, chilly and grey winter to cheery, sunny and bright spring: GIVERS.

Hailing from Lafayette, La., this genuine band with only one self-titled, self-produced EP to their name will have you dancing to their optimistic, sometimes psychedelic, sometimes beachy, indie-pop with hints of reggae and electronica.

Led by the happy-go-lucky vocals of Taylor Guarisco and Tiffany Lamson, the band’s true star and designated badass, who plays percussion, ukulele and everything and anything else thrown at her, GIVERS exude an energy as fun and unique as their eclectic sound. The newbies opened for Ra Ra Riot on their 2010 fall tour, and at their Nov. 5 stop at the 9:30 Club, the support easily outperformed the headliners when their contagious excitement infected everyone in the club within the first beats of their opening song.

Since the release of their 2009 EP, GIVERS has been highlighted on Daytrotter (download their session here!), Stereogum as “Band to Watch” and as PASTE Magazine’s “Best of What’s Next.” Somehow, they still lack the ever-important Wikipedia page, but that didn’t stop Glassnote Records from picking them up in the beginning of February. The five-piece band is currently working on their debut, full-length album to be released later this year.

So do yourself a favor and add GIVERS to your spring and summer playlists — you’ll be bopping to their beats until the weather turns cold, when hopefully their LP will be released and the jamming can continue!